In October 1981, Larry Lape officially opened for business as "Larry's Garage" next to his home on Spring Street Ext. Larry started small in his 2 car garage beside the house until he acquired enough business to build his first shop on the property. He also found there was a need for a towing service in the area; so after purchasing his first tow truck in 1982, he started working with the Mars and Adams Police Departments on emergency calls and also had AAA Motor Club status to help those needing assistance.
The first garage worked well for a few years, it had approx. 2400 sq.ft. and employed 4 technicians. They did both mechanical and collision work and it was a common stopping place for the older men in town to hang out and see what kind of project Larry had going on at the time. Larry always had a passion for muscle cars and is known for his restoration work. In 1991, space was at a premium and a new shop was underway next to the outgrown building. Since the new building allowed for more work and employees he needed full time office help, so family member Aimee Thompson stepped in to help. She quickly picked up on the industry, received her PA Appraiser?s license and started growing the business with Larry. Growth on the 228 corridor was starting and they knew if they were to stay competitive they needed to be easily accessible so they found property on Rt. 228 in Mars, which has become Classic Automotive, Inc. Larry and Aimee became partners as the corporation began.
The current location took much help from family, friends and employees. Tom Schmidley has worked with Larry since he opened and put in many hours not only on the new location but anything that was asked of him. If you stop in the office, you will see the brick work which was done by Aimee?s father, Chuck Rinaman, and for some trivia the large flag pole out front is capped off with a bowling ball. Larry and his wife Ellen, participate in many community events. It is a pleasure every year to bring Santa into town on his sleigh for the parade. Over the past few years they have gathered their collection of antiques into an incredible display that they love to show to visitors. Classic?s employees over the years have truly contributed to their success. They have grown into a 16,000 sq ft facility and from 4 to 19 employees and have formed their own family with the average of 10+ yrs of service overall. They sincerely care about their service, quality and realize that you are putting your family?s safety in their hands.
Our Pledge is to establish lasting relationships with our customers by exceeding their expectations and gaining their trust through our commitment to customer service and our utmost attention to the safety of you and your family. We pledge to continually support our community and employees as they are an important part of our success!
Danielle Ludolff has been with Classic since 2003, she manages both mechanical and collision customers with ease and takes great pride in greeting our customers by name and handling any questions they may have. Kathy Green is our licensed damage appraiser and takes the time to go over the vehicle with you to explain exactly what the repair process consists of. Ellen Lape assists with anything from accounting to customer service that might arise to help the business run smoothly. Customer service is a high priority for our office staff; we have made lasting relationships with our customers because of our honesty and reliability.
1st Row left-right: Aimee Thompson V. PRESIDENT Todd Thompson 2nd Row: Kathy Green 3rd Row left-right: Danielle Ludolff Ellen Lape 4th Row: Larry Lape PRESIDENT
Classic's mechanical department is handled by techs, Dave & Jason. Both technicians worked for many years at a dealership, however they now enjoy working for an independent because they get to know the customer, their vehicle and are able to do what is necessary to keep them safe.
Left-right: Dave Kovalick, Jason Adkins
We have a very strong team-based mentality, everyone has an important part to play in your repair. Todd Thompson coordinates the team in order to achieve a high quality, on-time repair. Our mission is to have the latest technology and training available to return your vehicle to pre-accident condition.
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